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Luton Borough Council

29/05/2020 - Luton Learning Link collects digital devices for schoolchildren

Looking at the latest government strategy, it is unlikely that High Schools will return in earnest before September.

​Even if schools do fully re-open, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the injustice of the digital divide - a gap between those who have access and those who don’t.
 
Without a device to work on at home, young people fall behind in their studies and miss out on developing key skills when compared to their peers.
 
One Luton High School Student said: “I don’t have a laptop and have to borrow my cousins one when she isn’t using it. I get frustrated because I am falling behind with my work.”
 
Luton Learning Link has been set up by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Luton Education Service, Luton Council of Mosques, Luton Council of Sunni Mosques, Level Trust and We Are Luton to provide 250 devices to local young people who are in desperate need of one.
 
Susan Lousada, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and spokesperson for the group said, “When I was asked to get involved in this scheme I had to say yes. Access to learning is close to my heart and I believe every child should have the chance to fully participate. Providing devices that allow children to engage in online learning through this crisis, will close the digital divide and allow children to fulfil their potential.”
 
The group is asking local businesses to donate laptops, tablets or desk top computers that they no longer require. Devices will be given to local schools, who will deliver them to pupils in greatest need. If you have devices to donate, you can contact the group at www.lutonlearninglink.org or find them on social media.  
 
A group of local organisations called Luton Learning Link are collecting electronic devices to give to young people without one to work on at home during the Covid-19 crisis.
 
In Luton 46% of young people live in poverty. Poverty means young people do not have all the equipment they need for learning from home, including a digital device. The government scheme to provide digital access will only supply devices to Year 10 students (14 – 15 year olds) who are entitled to a free school meal. There is no provision for students in other year groups.
 
Although schools are doing their best to provide paper based learning, if a young person does not have digital access, it is much harder for them to participate fully and their experience of learning is greatly impoverished.

Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder with responsibility for Education, Luton Council said:" It has always been our endeavour to ensure that every child in Luton has equal learning opportunities. This is a wonderful joint local initiative to reduce education inequalities in the town by providing students the necessary equipment to continue their education from home, under the given unprecedented circumstances."
© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ